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An Evening with Josh Ritter // RNCM, Manchester // Monday 28th October 2013

Posted on October 31, 2013

Stumbling in from the rain the audience take their seats within the concert hall; the stage is dressed for the night ahead. At the back of the concert hall looms a gigantic blue eye staring out towards the crowd. After a short wait, the lights dim and the audience let out a cheer. A female musician takes her place at the center of the stage; this is Tift Merritt, an American singer-songwriter from North Carolina. She plays through a collection of her tracks, originating from the vast supply of material she has gathered over the years. The audience is entranced. After the first couple of songs, she turns to her microphone and comments wryly: “I have never seen Manchester so well behaved before.” Amongst…

Thor: The Dark World Review

Posted on October 30, 2013

Continuing where last year’s multi-million-pound blockbuster Marvel’s Avengers Assemble left off, Thor: The Dark World is a rollicking superhero adventure packed with special effects and heaps of action. Much like its predecessor, 2011’s Thor, it borrows heavily from Marvel’s expansive source material to tell a story that is accessible not only to fans of the genre but to casual filmgoers as well. But whilst it is impressive in many aspects of its creation, in others it is certainly lacking. Helmed by Alan Taylor, director on several episodes of the popular TV show Game of Thrones, the film struggles in many of the same areas that the previous did. One of the key problems is that they have not yet managed to perfect the shifts…

Thorpe Park ignores concerns over its asylum attraction

Posted on October 25, 2013

Thorpe Park has defended their Halloween attraction “The Asylum”, despite claims from individuals that it stigmatizes mental health patients. Amongst those concerned over the potential impact of the attraction are the mental health charities Mind, Time to Change, and Rethink Illness. They argue that Thorpe Park have failed to take into account several factors, including: ‘the history of mental health institutions, and the continuing suffering of patients in substandard facilities worldwide; second, the fact that attractions…don’t just “[draw] on classic horror film content” but shape culture as a whole; and third, the sheer extent of the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems every day.’ They therefore suggest that Thorpe Park are making light of a very serious topic, disregarding the fact…

Tribute to Comedy icon unveiled in Timperley

Posted on October 20, 2013

Hundreds turned up to witness the unveiling of a statue to comedy icon Frank Sidebottom, in his hometown of Timperley. Frank Sidebottom, the creation of musician and comedian Chris Sievey, is perhaps best known for his TV appearances throughout the years. Over the course of his career he has appeared regularly on Granada, Channel 4, and Channel M. In addition to this, he also had some success in the nineties with his own TV show, which was called Frank Sidebottom’s Fantastic Shed Show. Neil Taylor, the Lib Dem Councillor for Timperley, who helped raise donations for the statue, explained the origins of the statue: ‘a group of us were deciding in what way we could make a memorial for Chris; so we decided to…

Play Expo Comes To Manchester

Posted on October 14, 2013

The highly anticipated gaming event, Play Expo 2013, came to Manchester’s Event City last weekend, showcasing the latest in gaming. At the event there were stalls selling retro consoles, old videogames, and other merchandise, as well as stands previewing new games from Nintendo and Ubisoft, amongst others. The hall at Event City was packed with videogame enthusiasts throughout the duration of the expo, some turning up in costume to cosplay as their favourite characters from gaming lore. One of the main attractions of the event was inevitably the PS4, which was on display almost immediately upon entering. Gamers who waited in line were given the chance to play Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on the next-gen console, almost a full month before Sony releases…

The Devil’s Backbone (El espinazo del diablo) Review

Posted on October 3, 2013

“What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again? An instant of pain, perhaps. Something dead which still seems to be alive. An emotion suspended in time. Like a blurred photograph. Like an insect trapped in amber” – Casares Set during the final years of the Spanish Civil War, The Devil’s Backbone (El espinazo del diablo) is the third feature film from Guillermo del Toro, following both his debut feature Cronos and his nineties horror picture Mimic. The narrative of the film focuses upon an orphanage in rural Spain and its latest arrival, Carlos (Fernando Tielve). Through his actions we experience the story, learning gradually the significance of characters, as well as the troubled history of the orphanage itself. The…